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RAIN 2/3: "Blackberry Radio" app shows off platform's radio options

Posted on: 02/03/2011

APP AIMS TO HELP USERS DISCOVER STREAMS FROM SLACKER, iHEARTRADIO, OTHERS

RIM, the company that makes BlackBerry devices, has launched a new application to showcase the Internet radio apps available to BlackBerry users. Dubbed BlackBerry Radio, the app includes streams from Slacker and others like Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio.

“BlackBerry Radio is not a traditional radio app,” says RIM, “but instead works with multiple radio apps to make the process of finding and listening to radio on a BlackBerry smartphone quicker, easier and more integrated by presenting a sampling of services from some of our most popular partners.” RIM also notes you can try all the BlackBerry radio options with the app — even the premium ones — without subscribing.

RIM’s BlackBerry platform is notorious for being relatively unfriendly to app developers — Internet radio apps included — compared to the mobile operating systems from Apple and Google. That’s part of the reason why BlackBerry users are pining for other smartphones and why market share has dwindled.

The BlackBerry Radio app is available today for select BlackBerry Beta Zone users in the United States. RIM will collect feedback, “perfect” the app, then release it to the wide world. You can find RIM’s blog post about the new app here.

COX COMBINES DIGITAL UNITS, PROMOTES LINDAHL TO HEAD NEW DIVISION

Cox Media Group announced today it is combing its CMGdigital unit and its Corporate Business Strategy group into a “unified Digital and Strategy team,” to be led by Gregg Lindahl as CMG Senior Vice President of Digital and Strategy.

Lindahl was CMG VP/Digital before his promotion. He’ll now report to CMG Executive VP/CFO Neil Johnston. Lindahl has served as Cox Radio’s VP/Interactive and New Technologies, and as President/COO of two Cox Enterprises division ventures in interactive and consumer market research.

“(Lindahl) led Cox Radio to become the first radio company to stream all of its stations and display meta-data from the broadcast on its web sites, mobile sites and radio displays,” reads the Cox Media press release. “Recently, he authored and executed the business plan to bring seven disparate digital initiatives together to produce a revolutionary media content management and distribution system, which is making its debut in 2011.”

Lindahl has spoken at numerous RAIN Summit events, as a panelist and moderator.

Read more here.

GOOM RADIO’S EXPERIMENT WITHBIG TALENTAPPROACH TO NET RADIO ENDS

FMQB and AllAccess (among others) report that effective today, webcaster GOOM Radio U.S. is downsizing its staff and will restructure for a business-to-business model. No details on what that new business plan is were available by press time.

In March 2009, RAIN reported, “Former Clear Channel New York market manager Rob Williams and former director of dMarc Broadcasting under Google Drew Hilles have announced the launch of Goom Radio in the U.S., an online radio service they promise will ‘reinvent radio for the Internet generation.’” (Read more here) GOOM Radio was designed to bring high-level on-air and programming talent to Internet-only radio, and is even based in pricey New York studios. The company announced in April of 2009 a round of $16 million in investment funding (see RAIN here, The Washington Post here)

While the service launched in September of that year, by October, Williams and Hilles (and others) had resigned (RAIN here and here). VP/Programming Tim Herbster lasted barely another month (here).

Now, VP/U.S. Ops Jeff Z. will stay on, but only for the transition, and is looking for other opportunities. Exiting immediately are: Pop and Teen Programmer Shareese Hurt, Hip Hop/Urban Programmer Will2Bee, Alternative & Rock Programmer Matt Schwenker, Hot AC Programmer Brian Lanz, Marketing and Community Giselle Yankovich, and Artist Relations Danielle Avissar. FMQB’s coverage is here.

PANDORA ADDS 2 TO BOARD, INCLUDING FORMER NETFLIX EXEC

Pandora has added Peter Chernin — founder of The Chernin Group and Chernin Entertainment — and Barry McCarthy, former Netflix CFO, to the company’s Board of Directors. You can find Pandora’s press release here.



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